I love a healthy dinner, less the mess or time it takes. Ninja Speedi solves both of those issues, unlocking the ability to cook one-pot-style in as little as 15 minutes. The result is good food, fast, feeding of up to four people.
We haven't got kids, but this multicooker is perfect for a two-person dinner, plus leftovers for work the next day. My husband loves my cooking but hates how many pots and pans I use in the process. Could this meal-prepping machine might be the makings of a long and happy marriage?
The Ninja Speedi is an air fryer that uses steam and crisp technology to cook juicy chicken, al dente pasta, and cooked vegetables that keep their crunch. After a demo at SharkNinja, I got to take the appliance away to use it at Future's test kitchen. Here are my thoughts.
Ninja Speedi: Quick menu
Our comprehensive Ninja Speedi review
The short version
The Ninja Speedi is a rapid and easy to use. I simply load my chosen my carbs, protein, and veggies, click a button, and this appliance does the rest. If I'm low on inspiration, there's a chef-created recipe guide with cooking charts to steer me in the right direction.
Could it look a little prettier? Absolutely. But considering this 10-function electric pot replaces your steamer, oven, and air fryer, I could live with its lack of aesthetic appeal. It has weeknight dinners ready in under an hour, and the recipes available ensure I'm getting a balanced meal.
On weekends, I use the Speedi to cook a full 4 lb roast chicken dinner (with the trimmings), but I've yet to try baking a chocolate fudge cake or slow-cooking a stew (sealing everything in the same pan).
Ninja Speedi specifications
|SF300 Series Ninja® Speedi Rapid Cooker & Air Fryer
|H12.4 x W13.8 x L14.1
|Sea salt grey
|Cord length (in)
|Multi-functional crisper tray
Unboxing and setting up the Ninja Speedi
I always look forward to unboxing SharkNinja kitchen appliances. This brand packages its items sustainably with minimal plastic wrap.
And, they make use of the outer carton with QR codes, so you're not left with fiddly paper manuals in a food-based environment. Talking from experience, I have way too many coffee-ringed, dog-eared, and olive oil-painted pamphlets lying about.
Using the Ninja Speedi
To use this machine, pop your ingredients into the pot, on the rack (or both), then select one of the 10 cooking programs:
|Cook mains/sides simultaneously using infused steam and cyclonic air.
|Steam Air Fry
|Evenly cook, brown, and crisp ingredients without drying them out.
|Steam & Bake
|Promote even rise while retaining moisture and fluffy texture.
|Gently cook delicate foods at high temps to lock in flavor and nutrients.
|Gives food crispiness and crunch with little to no oil.
|Prepare baked treats, oven-tender meats, and more using dry heat only.
|Cook at high heat to caramelize and brown food.
|Dehydrate meats, fruits, and vegetables.
|Brown meats, saute veggies, and simmer sauces.
|Cook food at a lower temperature for a longer period of time.
Then use the SmartSwitch (flipping it up for rapid cooker, and down for air fry/hob).
Test 1: teriyaki salmon rice bowl
I was interested to see how well the Ninja Speedi cooked fish. I enjoy salmon, but admittedly end up breaking the skin when broiling or baking it. So I was glad that this process was a little hands-off.
I'd worked my way through pasta and rice at NinjaHQ, so I prepared Ninja's Asian-inspired bowl, basting the filets in Teriyaki sauce, and a little sesame oil. As for the rice, this was essentially seven ounces of Basmati rice (rinsed to remove starch), a five-ounce portion of frozen veg, and 17 ounces of hot stock.
I placed the protein on the top rack, and the starch element in the pot, flipped the switch to the rapid cooker setting, and set the Speedi Meals setting to run at 350F for 10 mins.
After the time had elapsed, the flesh was perfectly-opaque and gently flaked. The rice-veg mix had also absorbed all of the broth, and our panel commented on how tender the grains were. The panel had reservations about using bagged mixed veg but were pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
Test 2: cooking bacon
I used the air fry function to cook five rashers of bacon for five minutes at 350°F. The results were crispy, and without any grease hitting me or the kitchen backsplash. It was great to not have to watch it (a downside when cooking rashers in your best non-stick frying pan, or under the broiler).
Test 3: French fries
French fries are a great litmus test to assess the air-frying abilities of the Ninja Speedi. In the past, fries given this treatment are either a little anemic or have charred ends. After cooking these chipped potatoes (for 18 minutes at 350°F) they had a moreish-crisp texture, where the Maillard effect had done its job.
Test 4: cooking rice
If you've always depended on microwavable rice or cooked boil-in-a-bag sachets on the hob, you'll be surprised at how well this machine cooks fluffy grains. It's like a rice cooker — but better.
You'll still need to rinse the rice beforehand to remove excess starch and use a ratio of 1:1.5 rice: water (or better still, broth for added flavor). But other than that, it's foolproof. No rice sticking to the bottom of the pan, no stirring, and no gloopy texture.
Demonstrations at SharkNinja HQ
Cooking chicken breasts
Cooking skinless chicken breasts can be a disaster if you're not well-versed in preparing lean protein. Undercooked you risk salmonella, but overdone and they are dry and unpleasant to eat.
Under the supervision of Ninja's professional chefs, our group prepared panko breadcrumbed supremes, setting the machine to 390°F, and time to 14 minutes.
The meat sits on the Cook & Crisp Tray, while the pasta quills sit in the bottom of the machine with your choice of liquid (i.e: water, stock, or another flavored base for it to absorb).
And did you spot 'Lid' notice on the Ninja Speedi's screen? This proves just how user-friendly this machine is, and is something I saw when reviewing the Ninja Foodi hot and cold blender. No weird codes or error messages — just simple, easy-to-read prompts.
I didn't manage to get a shot, but on the base level were all the ingredients for the Ninja broccoli alfredo pasta. Though this recipe cheats using store-bought sauce, our version included penne, grated garlic, butter, heavy cream, cream cheese, and parmesan. The result was a 1 lb serving of indulgent creamy pasta that I wanted to box up and take home. The textures were spot-on: the starch element was firm to the bite, and the veggies retained their color and snappiness.
Cooking a plant-based meal
Most air fryer recipes are centered around a meat option, but we haven't forgotten vegetarians or flexitarians. For this test, we cooked bell peppers and zucchini-wedged between cubes of Halloumi cheese to create kabobs. The finished result was cooked-but-crunchy Mediterranean veg, with mallowy-soft Cypriot cheese.
Cleaning and maintaning the Ninja Speedi
All the included accessories are dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. If you want to work smart and not hard, you can also use the Steam setting to clean the inside of the lid and unit. Do be careful though, one drawback is the pot doesn't have any handles, so it can be very hot straight after cooking.
Rest assured, the non-stick ceramic coating on the cooking pot and crisp tray is effective and you won't need to soak or scrub it to death. Doing the latter may remove the protective layer, so it's best to use a soft sponge.
Note, that the Ninja Speedi also has a little condensation collector on the back to catch steam vapor. Once the unit has cooled, be sure to remove and decant it.
Good to know
If you're ever stuck on what to cook, Ninja has a helpful Speedi meal builder. Pick your ingredients, customize flavors, and create your own recipe in just five simple steps. I took a screen grab of the process, but the experience lets you pick bases, proteins, vegetables, seasonings, and toppings.
Should you buy the Ninja Speedi?
In some small kitchens, you might struggle with counter clearance and size. However, the Ninja Speedi avoids you having to have the oven or broiler on for your main, plus a pot on the hob for your side. Everything is done in one pot.
And, if you like soft textures in a slow-cooked meal — don't fret. As mentioned, pasta remains al dente, veggies aren't limp, and my salmon had (extra) crispy skin — all thanks to this air-fryer-cum-multicooker-contraption. But if you're just after a small air fryer to cook a few fries and nuggets — buy just that.
One thing I do wish is that they would come out with more colors, as the sea salt grey doesn't quite fit into my taupe kitchen scheme. Admittedly, we haven't tried something as similar as this, but the closest comparison is the Ninja Foodi MAX 9-in-one Multi-Cooker which our reviewer awarded five stars.
How we test
This isn't a standard convection oven, but I used the same process of how we test air fryers to determine what score I was going to give it. I observed how it performed, how eco-friendly the packaging was, and if it was able to fit into a small rental kitchen. Unique to this review (and perhaps one other), I was invited to the brand's headquarters where I learned about the internal mechanics of this kitchen appliance.